Mental Health and Pregnancy: A Self-Care Guide

woman taking care of mental health during pregnancy

When people think about pregnancy and mental health, most often their thoughts go to postpartum depression and other common conditions women may experience after the birth of their child. Just as important, however, is mental health during pregnancy. Understanding the role of mental health in pregnancy can help reduce the likelihood of some pregnancy complications and prioritize the health of the mother-to-be.

Today, we’re looking at the correlation between mental health and pregnancy, offering you our guide to keep you and your baby as healthy as possible throughout your journey. Read on, and learn how to take care of your mind, in addition to your body, during pregnancy.

As always, check with your healthcare professional before you begin any new self-care routines during pregnancy to ensure it's safe for you to do so.

The Relationship Between Mental Health and Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a wonderful journey that changes your body both inside and out. During this experience, hormones shift, you may experience elevated stress levels, have feelings of anxiety, or even symptoms of depression right alongside the joy of your expanding family. The correlation between mental health and pregnancy is well-documented, showing its impact on each of these aforementioned conditions as well as serious conditions such as preeclampsia.

Taking care of your mental health in pregnancy should be an essential part of your daily routine. From meditation to simple calming activities you can do on the go, everything helps! 

How to Improve Mental Health During Pregnancy

Ready to learn how to improve mental health during pregnancy? Let’s get started! We’ve pulled together our self-care guide to maximize the beneficial aspects between mental health and pregnancy to keep you and your baby in optimal condition. Even the smallest self-care acts can have a positive effect, overall, meaning there’s something out there for people of all lifestyles, busy schedules, and circumstances.

Some of our favorites activities to boost the effects of mental health during pregnancy include:

  • Making some “me” time
  • Creating routines for consistency and self-care
  • Talking it out with friends, family, or professionals
  • Practicing prenatal yoga to stay active
  • Getting a prenatal massage
  • Embracing body positivity

Making Some “Me” Time

One of the most effective ways to enhance the correlation between mental health and pregnancy is to take some “me” time as often as you need. After all, you’re growing an entirely other human being inside you and that’s a lot of work! Take the time to step back as you can or need in order to prioritize your mental health and well-being.

Many women like to follow emotional wellness tips like taking the time to check in with themselves and acknowledge their mental state at any given time. Even just a few short times each day, taking a second to consider what you’re feeling, any stressors, and ways to alleviate that stress can have a profound overall impact. You may also enjoy activities such as journaling or meditating.


Journaling each night has been shown to clear your mind and help you unwind for more restful sleep. Journaling allows you to get the stresses of the day out of your head and onto paper, paving the way for a clearer morning when you reawaken once again.

Meditating for Stress Relief

Other forms of “me” time to boost mental health during pregnancy include meditation practices. There are many ways to practice meditation, but the most popular is mindfulness meditation. This technique involves centering yourself and acknowledging any thoughts that come into your head without judgment or ego. Even a few minutes each day of meditation may help with how to improve mental health during pregnancy and enhance your journey.

Creating Routines for Self-Care

Another great way to improve mental health during pregnancy is with self-care routines you do in the morning, evening, or both! For example, starting your day off with a cup of herbal tea, light stretches to loosen up, or keeping a gratitude journal are all excellent ways to kick the morning off right.

Starting a relaxing night time routine like taking a warm shower, listening to calming music, or unwinding in a zero gravity chair can help your mind and body prepare for bed, helping you get better sleep while pregnant and boosting the health of you and your baby.

Talking It Out With Friends, Family, or a Professional

One of the most important things to remember when it comes to mental health and pregnancy is that you’re not alone. Whether it’s anxiety, stress, or symptoms of depression, talking it out with friends, family members, or a healthcare professional can be immensely beneficial. These days, there are also plenty of pregnancy support groups on different social media platforms where you can discuss what you’re dealing with, how things are going, and even pick up pregnancy tips you may not have known about before!

Practicing Prenatal Yoga

Maximizing mental health in pregnancy can also come from staying active and exercising. Always check with your healthcare professional before you begin any new workout routines, especially while pregnant, but once you’ve got the green light, there are loads of activities to participate in.

Prenatal yoga is an excellent way to maintain both your physical and mental health during pregnancy as it combines movement exercises alongside a meditative experience. As an ideal exercise for how to improve mental health during pregnancy, prenatal yoga classes have exploded in popularity. Not feeling like joining a class? There are plenty available to stream online from the comfort of home, as well!

Note: Finding safe ways to exercise during pregnancy is the most important part of keeping active, so be sure whatever you participate in is safe for you.

Getting a Prenatal Massage

If you’ve ever had a massage, then you know they’re amazing not only for physical relaxation, but for your mental health, as well. The same goes when thinking about activities to balance mental health and pregnancy! There are currently no broad medical recommendations against getting a massage at any stage during pregnancy. In fact, getting a massage may help alleviate stress and boost mental health in pregnancy while lowering the risk of pregnancy complications like premature birth or preeclampsia.

For those unable to get to traditional massage appointments, feel unsure about a massage therapist’s qualifications for prenatal massage, or any other preferences, other options include using a zero gravity chair with massage features, instead. Many pregnant women have turned to using a zero gravity chair as a pregnancy chair for massage benefits, enhanced bodily healing, and mental health boosts. The plethora of potential health benefits of zero gravity chairs include back pain relief for pregnancy as well as stress relief.

Embracing Body Positivity

Last, though certainly not least, in our self-care guide to mental health and pregnancy is embracing body positivity. You’re pregnant and glowing and radiant! A body positive self-image and mindset may help you adjust as your hormones shift during pregnancy. Treat yourself with kindness, understanding, and respect as you navigate your pregnancy journey. Not only is this ideal for your mental health during pregnancy, but it may help with postpartum depression symptoms, too.

We hope this self-care guide for mental health and pregnancy has given you some actionable items to try for yourself. Whether it’s comparing zero gravity chairs for a pregnancy chair, embracing your body and all its beauty, journaling or stress relief, or any number of activities, making your mental health a priority is key. After your baby is born, remember which techniques work for you and adapt them to your daily routine to maintain mental wellness on an ongoing basis, as well!